Walgreens: How To Shop, Coupon And Save a TON Like a PRO
Walgreens is one of the hardest but BEST stores to coupon at. That being said, Walgreens is still very coupon friendly offering store coupons inside of their weekly sales flyers and a monthly coupon booklet that you can find inside the store filled with store coupons (which can also be loaded to your card from their website!).
Walgreens runs 2 separate rewards programs, one is called Register Rewards and the other called Balance Rewards.
Register Rewards print out as a manufacturer coupon (Catalina) for a certain amount off your next purchase. They expire within 2 weeks. In order to earn these RR, you must buy an item in the flyer that has a RR attached to it as advertised in their weekly sales flyer.
Balance Rewards are points that are earned by shopping in store and load to your card.
For an example of Register Rewards, you may see a Venus razor advertised for $7.99 and receive a $4 RR. Now this is where it becomes tricky. If you buy 2 Venus razors in 1 transaction, you will only receive 1 RR. If you buy 1 razor in transaction 1 and buy the same razor in transaction 2 and use the RR you earned from transaction 1 to pay for the razor in transaction 2, you will not receive a RR. A RR is technically a manufacturer coupon. If you use a RR on an item manufactured by the same company, you will not receive another RR.
Next, if the items you buy in a transaction all have coupons and you want to pay your balance down with a RR, you cannot use that RR unless you have another item for the RR to attach to. The rule is you should have as many items as you have coupons and since a Register Reward is “technically” a coupon, you would need additional items. The way to get around this is to buy an item referred to as a filler. A filler is the cheapest item you can find within the store such as a candy cane, a pencil, a piece of candy, votive candle, etc.
These fillers will allow the RR to go through, basically tricking the register. So, if you have more than 1 RR to use on a transaction, you would then need a filler for every RR you wish to use if each item in your transaction has a coupon already associated with it.
- Buy: 1 Venus Razor $7.99
- 1 Colgate toothpaste $2.99
- 2 pencils $0.19 each
- Use: $2 off Venus Razor P&G
- $1 off Colgate toothpaste SS
- $4 Register Reward from a previous transaction
- $2 Register Reward from a previous transaction
- Pay: $2.36
- Get Back: $4 Register Reward for Venus and a $2 Register Reward for Colgate
- Final Price: Both FREE!
In the example above, I had Register Rewards from a previous shopping trip that I wanted to use BUT I also had coupons for each item I was buying. Since I wanted to use 2 Register Rewards, I needed to buy 2 fillers (pencils).
Now, without the fillers, the register would beep and the cashier has no way to override it. Only you can fix it by finding a filler. RR also do not pay tax so you may need to purchase a filler to bring your total over the tax. For example, if your total comes to $2.09 and you try to pay with a $2 RR, the RR will beep because of the taxes. You can purchase a filler and then will be able to use that RR without the register beeping.
Next, is the Balance Rewards program. With this program, you must be signed up for a Walgreens Balance Rewards Card which you can sign up for at any register and it is free. With this card, you now earn points for simply shopping in store.
For every dollar you spend in store, you will earn 10 point.s 5,000
points is worth $5. You can use points to buy things you need and save a bit of money. You also earn up to 100 points for each prescription you fill (which is the equivalent to $0.10).
- 1,000 points = $1
- 5,000 points = $5
- 10,000 points = $10
- 18,000 points = $20
- 30,000 points = $35
- 40,000 points = $50
Points are valid for up to 1 year on your card. Every week, Walgreens will not only advertise RR deals in their weekly flyer, but also deals to earn points. For example, buy 2 select boxes of cereal, earn 1,000 points. You can buy 6 boxes of cereal in one transaction and earn 3,000 points. You can also use points to help pay for items as well.
Here is where the tricky part comes in. you can use points AND still earn points on deals that say Buy x amount of items and earn x amounts of points. BUT, if you use points to pay for a deal that says spend X amount and earn X amount, you will NOT earn points. You can use points to pay for items that will give you RR, but you cannot use points to pay for items that will give you points.
Lastly, Walgreens store coupons which can be found in their monthly coupon booklet, on their website and downloaded right to your card AND in the weekly sales flyer too! Since these are store coupons, they can be stacked with a manufacturer coupon for double to savings! And, the best part is that you can buy 4 of an item and use only 1 Walgreens store coupon and it will take the amount off all 4 items! Pretty cool huh?
A few notable highlights from the Walgreen’s Coupon Policy:
- You can stack a manufacturer coupon and a store coupon on a single purchase.
- There is no set limit to how many of the same coupon will be accepted. If the coupon itself has a limit listed, then that limit will apply. Management does have the right to limit coupons if they deem the purchase to be excessive.
- Walgreens will not accept manufacturer coupons that exceed the price of the item. The cashier will not adjust the value of the coupon to make the item Free.
- The number of manufacturer coupons used in a trans
action cannot exceed the number of items being purchased. Register Rewards are manufacturer coupons. Pay attention to how many items you are buying if you plan on using a coupon for every item.
- For BOGO promotions, the number of coupons being used cannot exceed the number of items you are buying to get the FREE item. That just means that if you BOGO FREE, you COULD use a coupon for $1.00/2. You COULD NOT use two coupons for $1.00/1. The one exception to this rule is when there is a BOGO free promotion and you have a BOGO FREE coupon. You cannot get both items FREE. You must purchase one item. It’s becomes a Buy 1 Get 2 FREE deal when combining the BOGO coupon and the BOGO sale.
You can view the Walgreen’s coupon policy HERE.
So, shopping Walgreens can be confusing but they have great sales. Just remember, first use all manufacturer coupons, then store or in ad coupons and then RR to pay for your transactions and don‘t forget to use fillers to your advantage! Have fun!